A small-town detective Noah Cordin, (played by Nick Stahl from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) is called to solve a juvenile homicide that occurred during a home burglary in his affluent town of Hilliard. The dead boy’s mother, Allison Connor, is a member of the Meskada County Board of Commissioners, and a powerful woman in Hilliard; and the entire township rallies together in solidarity – to support her and Detective Cordin’s efforts to find the killers. However, there are few leads and the pressure is on for Noah to deliver a suspect before the case is taken off him and the feds come to town.
As Blood Runs Deep is based on a true story, which is probably why the ending is a little open ended and not your typically satisfying, ‘all things neatly tied up’, Hollywood finish. I think the most interesting aspects of this film are the issues it raises regarding class divisions as another small and much poorer township up the road from Hilliard becomes the focus of the police investigation and the detective, who originally came from that poorer town, must return and face his past and the people he left behind.
The clever script, replete with lots of naturalistic dialogue, by Sternfeld, also catches small-town (often misguided) loyalties well and presents three-dimensional characters for both the police and their suspects. There are no real bad guys in this film, just poor families trying to make ends meet in a world where they can’t afford to pay for their own children’s medicines. And, like real life, people here make bad choices and sometimes align themselves to the wrong side, which can be frustrating for the viewer who naturally wants to see true justice win out in the end.
As a piece of escapist entertainment Blood doesn’t really deliver – it’s based too much on hard reality and is too ambling in pace to be a Friday night ‘chilling out after work’ sort of film – but as a piece of well made drama, with some good performances and an engaging, well told story, it should appeal to those who like their crime dramas to be a little deeper than normal Hollywood fare.
A few other things to note – the opening credits are a little like those favoured by Saul Bass back in the sixties and were therefore very cool and a little retro; the music is well chosen throughout and I couldn’t help but notice a refuse bin labelled as belonging to Wolf Creek, a nod I think to an Aussie horror flick from a few year’s back.
As Blood Runs Deep is certainly a decent enough little movie, even if it does resemble some of the ‘TV movie of the week’ films I remember catching in my youth when there were a lot more movies screened on TV.
Reviewer: Justin Richards
Metrodome are releasing As Blood Runs Deep on DVD on 5 September so expect to see it hitting the shelves of your local retailers soon. No extras were on the review disc.